Sai Kung – Nature

Traveling to work on the 299 refrigerated bus one morning, I saw what I thought was a large dog dash out of the jungly verge (near Kei Ling Ha Lo Wai) and pelt along the road. Nothing too unusual there, until it reached the next tree and ran straight up the vertical trunk into the canopy without changing pace. Macaques are very common (almost to pest level) between Sha Tin and Lai Chi Kok, but not widely reported this far east.

Another morning, same bus, same place, this time a young Barking Deer stood quite still beside the road while the bus waited at a roadwork traffic light.

SKM

Birdwing Butterfly (Troides helena) can normally be found in the upper reaches of one Sai Kung river valley, but on this occasion, they arrived in numbers to sup from this hibiscus plant in Sha Kok Mei.

More photos and information featuring the items tagged below wildlife photos here

Dog walker uses her pocket knife to fight off 15-foot python which tried to kill her mongrel as they walked in a park

  • Dog in Hong Kong park attacked by Burmese python while out on a walk
  • Owner tried punching the serpent to get it to release her pooch
  • When that failed she stabbed it in the head with a pocket knife

By TED THORNHILL

A dog owner has told of her frantic battle to save her pet from a 15-foot python that had coiled around it – using a pocket knife.

Courtney Link saved her dog, Dexter, from the enormous snake by stabbing it in the head, after punches she’d unleashed on the serpent failed to make it loosen its grip.

Mrs Link was walking Dexter with her husband in Hong Kong’s Sai Kung West Country Park last weekend when the terrifying encounter took place.

Recovery: Dexter received deep bites from the python

Recovery: Dexter received deep bites from the python

Desperate: A British ex-pat dog walker in Hong Kong has told of her frantic battle with a python after it coiled around her pet dog

Desperate: A British ex-pat dog walker in Hong Kong has told of her frantic battle with a python after it coiled around her pet dog

Well-exercised: Dexter (left) out on a walk with another dog before the python attack

Well-exercised: Dexter (left) out on a walk with another dog before the python attack

Dexter

Dexter

Saved: Mrs Link found Dexter as a stray puppy, close to death, and said that he means the world to her

Dexter ran out of sight at one point – and a few moments later the pair heard  ‘frantic barking and a strange gurgling noise’, according to The South China Morning Post.

To their horror, they found a huge Burmese python coiled around Dexter’s head, neck and body.

Mrs Link, a British expatriate, desperately punched the snake repeatedly, but to no avail. Then her husband handed her his pocket knife.

Mrs Link, who runs a care service for animals called The Pet Nanny, said: ‘Dexter was starting to weaken and he eventually stopped struggling altogether. At that point we really thought we had lost him. So when I suddenly saw the snake’s head, I just started stabbing furiously.’

Dedicated: Mrs Link runs an animal care service

Dedicated: Mrs Link runs an animal care service

Weapon: Mrs Link used a pocket knife similar to this to fend off the snake, which was coiled around her dog's head, neck and body

Weapon: Mrs Link used a pocket knife similar to this to fend off the snake, which was coiled around her dog’s head, neck and body

This had the desired effect and the reptile slithered away.

Dexter, who weighs around three and a half stone, was left in a state of shock and suffered deep bite wounds, but has now made a full recovery and is back to his energetic self, according to Mrs Link.

Luckily for Dexter, his owner had recently completed an animal first aid course and put her skills to use in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

She told MailOnline: ‘Dexter is incredibly special to us as I found him as a stray puppy very sick, emaciated and close to death.

‘He is also my first dog, a life long dream to have a canine companion. He has transformed my life and motivated me to become a Canine CPR Emergency Responder in case I needed to save his life one day. I completed this course in the UK in March 2014. So amazingly well timed.’

The python is a protected species in Hong Kong and Mrs Link said she only stabbed the one that attacked Dexter as a last resort.

Adult Burmese pythons usually grow to around 15 feet in length, with the biggest ever recorded, in Florida, being 18 feet.

They favour rats and mice, but will take pigs and goats – and even alligators.

Researchers, meanwhile, have discovered something new about Burmese pythons – the snakes are really good at finding their way home.

Size matters: University of Florida staff next to the longest Burmese python ever recorded - which measured 18 feet, eight inches

Size matters: University of Florida staff next to the longest Burmese python ever recorded – which measured 18 feet, eight inches

Researchers caught six pythons in South Florida’s Everglades National Park, implanted radio transmitters under their skins and released them up to two dozen miles from where they were captured. Surprisingly, the snakes found their way home within months.

According to research being published in the journal Biology Letters, the pythons slithered with a purpose instead of moving randomly across the wetlands. It’s unclear how the snakes mapped their routes.

The discovery about pythons’ unusual navigational abilities doesn’t immediately help Florida’s wildlife agencies trying to curb the python population in Florida wetlands. The tan, splotchy snakes are notoriously hard to spot in the Everglades even when tracked with transmitters.

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